I. Let’s say you are 60
And you don’t see how
You will stop working, teaching
As an adjunct in a state university.
And you used to make
Theater but there is no time.
Suppose you have a dream
In which there is a mountain
You, your young self and your friend Andres
On a path up the mountain.
It’s stony and hard,
And midway, Andres offers you
shoes. Magic shoes, red,
(He owns a pair),
Because it’s hard to hike at your age
(and you wonder why he tells
you what you know).
Each day we touch the unformed
Lives of those the fairytales are meant for –
Rose Red, Cordelia, the prince who finds Rapunzel.
After the glass shoes fits, fairy godmother retreats
Til the firstborn needs a blessing.
Every graduation, it repeats.
We are halfway down the mountain.
In my case, a plateau. Rest,
The tender grass tells us.
No, stay awake, wake up.
A perigree moon ices the wild trees as
We hike like the magi till we reach
Not where we’re supposed to be, but down past to
The path I’m looking for
into the valley. An old white horse
gallops up from the meadow.
We arrive to
find the place (you may say) satisfactory.
II. Come in, she says.
Old enough to be our mother, at a
Wood house on mud path, as it rains
Through the bamboo.
We share bread and soup
And once the clouds move,
Prepare to leave as the dream instructs us.
Take something, she opens a closet full
Of closet things – tupperware, old files,
Flannel jacket, red shoes,
frog legs, baseball cap, old black umbrella.
That, I say.
She smiles. Belonged to
a Miss Poppins, once.